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Re: dormant bugs and our perception



I too have been disheartened to hear nothing for months and often more than a year for problems I have reported.

It is impossible to give every submitted a bug detailed and rigorous attention. There are just too many bugs and not enough people.

It seems to me, however, that if those in the know could manage to triage each incoming bug within a few days, and answer the submitter doing four simple things, the people submitting the bugs would feel more strongly motivated to stay involved and to grow into people who could help out in future. What four things:

	1. Acknowledge the submission.
2. Identify if it is an already known bug, and if so, connect the new bug to the known bug. 3. If it can be done with a few minutes work, provide the submitter with something to do to get them moving forward on isolating and fixing the bug. 4. If possible, give a sense of when to expect further help: If the bug is difficult to deal with, and in a low importance subsystem, say so. If it is easy to fix, give the submitter help in trying to submit a fix.

Leaving people hanging for months and years has consequences. For example: I got bit in August by Red Hat bugzilla bug 240326. In DECEMBER that bug was flagged as a duplicate of Red Hat bug 222327 detected by Red Hat internally and opened in January. The lack of timely triage meant that nobody realized this EASY bug to fix was actually affecting real customers. Although this bug is Red Hat, not Fedora, the principle is the same.

If you at least respond, and respond quickly, you motivate people to do more work and join the ranks of those helping out. If you allow a one-year backlog to come into existence, you look bad, you de- motivate potential good new people, and you cheat yourself out of useful information and forward progress on the code base.

Bottom line: Every bug deserves 15 minutes of triage. The value produced is measurable and significant.

-Bill

----

William Cattey
Linux Platform Coordinator
MIT Information Services & Technology

N42-040M, 617-253-0140, wdc mit edu
http://web.mit.edu/wdc/www/


On Dec 31, 2007, at 7:22 PM, Jon Stanley wrote:

I was triaging old bugs in the FC6 kernel, and got this back form a
reporter.    While I agree that a lack of response can be frustrating
to a reporter, I'm not entirely sure what (if anything) we can do
about it.- I'm sending this to marketing-list since it seems to be a
problem for us rather than QA - though probably both, and I'm sure
alot of us are on both.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From:  <bugzilla redhat com>
Date: Dec 31, 2007 5:48 PM
Subject: [Bug 204883] Boot fails in insmod after upgrade from fc5
(x86) to fc6t2 (x86_64)
To: jonstanley gmail com


Please do not reply directly to this email. All additional
comments should be made in the comments box of this bug report.

Summary: Boot fails in insmod after upgrade from fc5 (x86) to fc6t2 (x86_64)


https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=204883


grgoffe yahoo com changed:

           What    |Removed                     |Added
---------------------------------------------------------------------- ------
             Status|NEEDINFO                    |NEW
               Flag|needinfo?(grgoffe yahoo com)|




------- Additional Comments From grgoffe yahoo com 2007-12-31 18:48 EST -------
Jon,

Thanks for your input.

I've pretty much given up with my efforts to further the Fedora cause. Here are
my reasons:

1) I opened this case OVER a year ago. NO responses til now. Not exactly what I
would call a timely response I'm sure you'll agree.

2) I have joined several of the fedora lists (fedora-dev comes to mind off the top of my head. I have posted to the list several times but have NOT received
any responses except from Rahul.

I'm NOT a developer but I HAVE a lot of experience working with systems (> 40 years) of all kinds. I will NEVER tell anyone that I know it all because I just don't. I do expect to be listened to when I request info or make a suggestion. EVEN if it's just to tell me to go to hell. This is not unreasonable, I do listen AND reply to other people when they address me. I just expect the same
treatment.

Regards,

George...



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--
Jon Stanley
Fedora Ambassador
jstanley fedoraproject org

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